Heesen Delivers “Iris Blue”

The 180-foot superyacht is the first launch in Heesen’s restyled 55-meter series.
Heesen Iris Blue
Heesen recently delivered the 180-foot Iris Blue. The superyacht, part of the yacht builder’s 55-meter Steel series, has a 4,500-nautical-mile range at 13 knots. Photo by Ruben Griffioen

Heesen Yachts in the Netherlands has delivered Hull YN 20255, which has been christened Iris Blue.

The 180-foot motoryacht is the first one in the shipyard’s restyled 55-meter series. Its revised exterior lines are by Omega Architects, with interior design by Luca Dini Design & Architecture. There’s a new layout aboard the 760-gross-ton yacht, with six staterooms for guests.

Iris Blue has Heesen’s steel Fast Displacement Hull Form, with a reported top speed of 15.5 knots. At 13 knots, the yacht has a trans-Atlantic range of 4,500 nautical miles, according to Heesen.

Sea trials prior to delivery were conducted on the North Sea, where Heesen says Iris Blue met all the required specifications: “During the second day of trials, the yacht was tested in rough sea conditions, with waves up to 1.7 meters [5 feet, 7 inches] from north to northwest, and westerly to north-westerly winds with gusts up to 28 knots.”

Even in those conditions, the shipyard says, the yacht handled similarly to those that have preceded it: “ Iris Blue proved to be highly responsive, accepting steering commands immediately. The use of large rudders in conjunction with a powerful steering unit makes for a very quick reaction, as does the high pitch of the propellers. The overall effect instils great confidence in the captain when maneuvering in strong wind conditions.”

Frank Laupman of Omega Architects was also the original designer of the series, which had vertical windows. He said that for this redesign, it was time to make an evolutionary step.

“We opted for a larger expanse of floor-to-ceiling glass, without mullions in the main saloon,” he stated in the shipyard’s press release. “Then, we took the opportunity to give a slightly more aggressive look to the profile by using continuous sheets of tinted glass. The horizontal lines stretch the optical length and balance the air draft. The result is beautiful: We retained the family look and feel, but gave it an elegant touch.”

With the updated interior layout, the 840-square-foot owners’ stateroom now has a veranda to starboard, along with walk-in closets.

In addition, the sundeck is larger, with a bar around the hot tub forward. On the main deck, the central atrium is wider with a revised design of the main staircase. There’s also an additional companionway from the wheelhouse deck up to the sundeck, to ease crew access for guest service.

The yard sounds quite proud: Niels Vaessen, Heesen CEO, stated in the press release: “Heesen 55-meter Steel is a unique and very competitive design. We believe in this proven design platform, and have worked with Omega and Luca Dini on creating a yacht that meets the refined tastes of clients who appreciate Dutch quality with a shortened delivery time. Iris Blue is a wonderful addition to our fleet, and we wish the owners and her crew many days of happy sailing.”

Take the next step: visit heesenyachts.com